It can be a revealing exercise to consider a catastrophic event happening. Let’s define that as one that is photographic in nature. For example, imagine all of your camera gear getting lost, stolen or damaged beyond repair. Each of us would suddenly go from having our photographic needs met by our current gear… to having to start over and build a new kit from scratch. Deciding what we would do after a catastrophic event isn’t as easy as it first appears. A number of factors come into play when starting from ‘ground zero’ again.
One of the first things that may come to mind for some of us is whether we would even replace our current camera gear at all. Some folks may just decide to use their cellphones. Their photographic needs may have changed and the capabilities of new generation cell phones may be sufficient for them.
There may be career oriented issues that could surface. For example, as a ‘senior citizen’ I’d have to consider how much longer I plan on doing client video work. If my decision was to simply close down my video production business, it would have a significant impact on my choice of replacement camera gear.
There are many changes currently happening in the camera market with manufacturers making a push with full frame mirrorless products. Many of us would need to decide if we really need, or want, full frame gear. And, if we didn’t want to go the full frame route, what path would we choose?
Even the choice of a basic camera configuration would come into play. Would we still need an interchangeable lens camera kit, or would some kind of fixed lens zoom camera meet our needs? Or, would we choose several different fixed lens cameras to meet various photographic specialties?
Some of us who use smaller sensor camera gear like Nikon 1 or M4/3 may scratch our heads when deciding what to do. Those of us who love to use Nikon 1 would need to accept that there is nothing else currently available that provides the same size/performance ratio as our Nikon 1 gear did. Changing to any other interchangeable lens camera equipment would result in us now having to use larger and heavier camera gear.
Would we migrate to M4/3 and buy either Panasonic or Olympus equipment? How committed to M4/3 is Panasonic given its recent move into full frame cameras? Olympus still seems committed to M4/3. Does the company have the staying power in the market, given that its camera business lost money in 2018?
Is buying replacement DSLR gear a sensible thing to do? Or, would we just be buying into future dead-end systems if manufacturers abandoned DSLRs and went entirely mirrorless in the next few years to come?
We would need to consider the reality that the camera market is continuing to contract. The array of products that is currently available will likely contract along with the market. That contraction will also be accompanied by higher unit prices. Whatever replacement camera equipment we purchased would come with some kind of downstream risk.
Some of us have photography as an important part of our lives as it represents a method of visual creative expression. Would we decide that it is time to move on from photography and take up painting, sculpture or some other form of creative expression?
Is it possible that some of us would leave photography and move into video as a potentially more powerful form of visual expression? If so, would we buy dedicated video cameras and forget about the type of still camera gear we currently use?
After a catastrophic event each of us would be forced to re-examine our reasons to own camera equipment. We would also need to understand our photographic passions fully before choosing to replace our camera equipment.
After a catastrophic event what would you do?
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